Thousands mark soggy solstice

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Thousands of people have marked the summer solstice despite the celebration being one of the wettest in years.

Poor weather could not dampen the spirits of 14,500 people who welcomed the sun at Stonehenge at dawn yesterday. The annual pagan celebration of the sun, on the longest day of the year, centred on the famous prehistoric monument where the event was marked with religious ceremonies.

The solstice annually attracts an eclectic mix and among the druids, revellers and sun worshippers were those just curious to experience the spiritual event at the site on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.

Heavy rain overnight reduced the number of people who camped out or arrived early to witness the dawn compared with previous years, which have seen numbers of around 20,000.